Friday, December 4, 2009

“What hymns are sung and praises said / For the home-made miracle?”

The new-type influenza is running rampant through the school, so we have large amounts of milk left-over. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it’s my #1 favorite beverage. But even I have limits.

“Please take some milk!” I was begged by a teacher holding four boxes.

“Er…” I said, already having four in my bag plus my own which I hadn’t drunk. She pressed them into my hands before I could resist. This didn’t just happen on Friday – this was all week. You can imagine the amount I have stacked up like bricks in my freezer, and Japanese fridges aren’t big.

I asked a cooking community for advice on what they would do with lots of milk. “Make cheese!” said one, and I boggled. Surely cheese is something that requires expertise and equipment, an entire cheese-making factory. But then, what had people done in the old days?

I found a recipe that called for lemon juice, and had simple directions. I bought a cloth that seemed loose enough. The result was a very soft ball of pure white cheese. I added sage and black pepper, pressed it into a plastic cup, and left it over night. The next day it was crumbly like feta, but much softer. I mixed it with spinach and ate it on noodles that evening:

(You might notice that the noodles are ramen noodles, and that would be because they also were left-over from school. They added their own egg flavor. Someday I will manage to make an entire meal of leftovers from school.)


The next day I made a trip to the store just to buy crackers to eat it on:

This may be the pinnacle of my learning to cook in Japan experiences, dear readers. This is deliciousness of epic proportions. This is food that makesyou raise your fist to the sky and say, “What hath God wrought?”


I think I’ve mentioned how though I’ve found cauliflower before, they are usually stunted things which, to add insult to injury, are sold cut in half. But the other day I found a full and full-sized one. I carried it home in glee – only to find it was too big to steam in my rice cooker the way I had done. Perhaps Japan sizes make sense. So I broke of some of the bunches for later, and then it fit.

I ate the main part with tomato and rice, as that’s my usual favorite thing to do with cauliflower. My new favorite thing to do with cauliflower, however -

The extra pieces I used to make potato and cauliflower cream soup, with rosemary and thyme to season. I ate it with crusty-crusty bread.


I still have much milk left! Feel free to suggest your favorite recipes <3


woody said...

Good job!!!Hey---if you can get a viliv s5 (Korean) mini computer for <300$(USD) will you buy me one and I'll repay you? Call me if you want to confirm this? --woody

HereBeDragons said...

Wow. I've never tried to make cheese before. Kudos!